The Science of Art: Exploring the Gum Bichromate Process- Landscape Microscopy and Geo-Photography
In our everyday lives, we observe the world around us, forming our own unique perspective. What gets overlooked is the microscopic perspective that we simply cannot see. This body of work attempts to alter our perception of natural landscapes by creating an unconventional viewpoint. This is done so by focusing on the juxtaposition of microscopic and macroscopic perspectives, while considering the influence of context in a photograph. To accomplish this, I physically broke down geologic fossil and rock specimens to create thin sections at a thickness of 30 microns and photographed them under a microscope.
Microscopy can provide us with endless information about the history of the landscape, as does traditional landscape photography from a larger vantage point. To change the perspective and rebuild the context of these thin section images, I digitally created layers of paper negatives and prints using an antiquated developing process-Gum Bichromate. This process uses potassium dichromate, gum arabic, and watercolor pigment to develop a photograph using UV light. My final work presents images of landscapes taken in the western United States and the UK, along with geologic microscopy of collected specimens.
Cassidy Jester '17
Advisor: Bridget Milligan